Travers Smith posts revenue rise to £125m as PEP dips below £1m mark

Travers Smith has posted a 3.8% turnover increase for 2016-17, with profit per equity partner (PEP) falling 4.4% amid a ‘challenging’ period for the City firm.

Turnover rose to £125m, up from last year’s figure of £120.4m, while PEP dipped below the £1m mark to £970,000, down from £1.015m last year.

Managing partner David Patient cited the impact of the Brexit vote as a key factor in this year’s results, as well as “significant strategic investment” the firm has made in its business.

Patient said: “This is a very respectable set of financial results in the circumstances, and one that would have been at the very top end of my expectations 12 months ago.

“Our latest financial year started one week after the surprise Brexit vote, and there is no denying that, as a result, this year has presented a number of challenges for our clients, our firm and the legal profession as a whole.

“Although PEP was down marginally this year, we are right in the middle of a period of significant strategic investment in our people and business, so the costs of running our business have gone up.”

The firm said this investment had included office refurbishment and “professionalising” its business services.

Senior partner Chris – who began his second term as senior partner on 1 July – added: “Over the years we have collectively developed a healthy business, and while we remain cautiously optimistic for the coming months and the opportunities that will flow from these unusual times, we are in no doubt that the next year or two are going to be particularly challenging.”

Travers recently announced that it is increasing associate salaries for 2017-18, with pay for newly qualified lawyers up 5% to £75,000.

The firm has also introduced a new agile working policy that allows all staff and lawyers to work flexibly, and is considering allowing its lawyers to take a career break during their children’s early years, as part of its ongoing efforts to boost diversity at the firm. This May, the firm announced its first all-female partner promotions round.

Last year, Travers boosted revenue by 13%, with PEP rising 8%. The firm’s limited liability filings revealed that key management figures saw their combined pay increase by nearly 20% during 2015-16, with the highest paid member taking home £1.45m, up nearly 13% on the previous year’s figure of £1.28m.